Saffron Walden Reporter - Charlie Ridler
One of the UK’s largest international airports, there is a tension between London Stansted and its countryside setting.
When airport chiefs applied to increase passenger numbers from 35 to 43million a year in 2018, fears over an impact on climate change began to grow.
But Uttlesford District Council’s battle against the application ended last year after the High Court rejected its appeal. The journey was fraught with disunity between councillors and officers, with councillors voting against officer recommendations, and officers changing the position of the council at appeal without approval from elected members.
In its wake, an independent review by law firm Eversheds Sutherland, commissioned by the council into the handling of the application, alleged “political motivation” behind the decision to refuse, which was “without clear evidential justification”. The council is now grappling with legal costs estimated to be around £2.6m, according to a council report from October 2021.